Our teeth naturally lose their sparkle over time, especially as we get older. That’s because of the yellow dentin, which becomes visible once the outer enamel wears down. But besides your age, your lifestyle and diet can also have an impact on your oral’s health. You may not fully realize it, but simple routines such as frequent consumption of dark-colored foods and beverages can hurt your smile.
Let’s have a rundown of the common factors that cause yellow teeth, plus some proven ways to fix and restore your gorgeous pearly whites.
Age & Genetics
As you reach middle to older age, you may start noticing changes in the color of your teeth, from becoming white to somewhat yellowish. It is a natural process and should not cause extreme concern. It is due to the fraying outer layer of your enamel that eventually exposes the yellow dentin. In some cases, thicker enamel runs in the families. So perhaps you can blame your genes for having dingy smiles.
Accidents or Physical Trauma
Referred to as traumatic dental injuries, these are often a result of sports injury or accident. It is considered more common to toddlers than adults since they have a tendency to fall while they are learning to walk or experience similar situations. The tooth usually heals on its own after a few days. But depending on how severe the damage is, it may remain tainted or even die.
Thinning of Enamel
Your age is not only the main culprit here. Any object is susceptible to wear and tear. Your teeth are no exception since you heavily rely on them to savor your favorite edibles. Constant chewing and grinding may cause your enamel to become thin and wear out in the long run; hence, the presence of stains on your pearly whites.
Certain Foods or Drinks
We know many of you love morning coffee or indulge in sweets such as chocolate. Sorry to ruin your appetite, but dark-colored foods and beverages are known to cause teeth stains. These include red wine, tea, soda, tomato sauces, berries, and dark curries. Even your favorite potatoes and apples can affect your smile, mainly because their residues tend to stick or permeate the enamel surface. It is where stains begin to form.
Smoking and chewing tobacco impair one’s health, and it’s no secret that it is also one of the notable causes of yellow teeth. Nicotine and tar are the substances that produce yellow stains. The longer you smoke, the darker your teeth might develop into. Reduce your use of tobacco products as possible. Better yet, start your quit smoking journey. Try other healthy alternatives like chewing gum and drinking plenty of water. Spending time with non-smoking family and friends and keeping your hands busy with other chores or activities could help too.
Certain Medications and Diseases
Some treatments and diseases can also affect the color of your teeth by targeting dentin and enamel. Chemotherapy, for example, triggers teeth discoloration. Those taking medications to manage high blood pressure and asthma may gradually notice stains. Antibiotics that contain doxycycline or tetracycline are at fault as well.
Excessive Use of Flouride
Fluoride can whiten your teeth and help maintain their healthy function. No doubt. But as we are persistently told, excessive of everything is bad. That holds true to using fluoride toothpaste. Take only a small amount whenever you need to brush your teeth, and all’s well. Children can use fluoride, too, but be sure they don’t go across the restriction amount.
Poor Oral Hygiene & Dental Care
Are you committed enough to taking care of your teeth, gums, and general oral health? Intentionally or not, forgetting to floss and brush would mean allowing food stains and plaque to accrue. You may eventually find yourself dealing with yellowish crust as well as gum and tooth issues. It is always essential to keep good dental hygiene at all times.
Can You Whiten Yellow Teeth?
Absolutely, yes! But before getting your hopes up, do remember that it takes a great deal of patience and commitment.
The most practical and cost-efficient solution is brushing, flossing, rinsing, and eating a nutrient-rich diet.
- Brush with an adequate drop of fluoride toothpaste or any whitening toothpaste with the ADA Seal of Acceptance. Do it twice every day and after consuming drinks and foods that may cause teeth discoloration. It will help prevent the possibility of getting tooth enamel or erosion due to harmful acids.
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush, either conventional or electric, though the latter can be more effective at eliminating surface stains.
- Floss each tooth to remove food particles stuck in between. Doing so will prevent gums and enamel from getting damaged.
- Rinse with mouthwash, an antibacterial mouthwash specifically. Along with flossing and brushing, it will give you a whiter smile and keep your mouth healthy all year round.
- Eat vegetables and fruits, particularly those with high water content and vitamin C, to clear out bacteria and plaque residing in the gums and teeth.
- Over-the-counter whitening gels and strips are economical and provide immediate, long-lasting results – typically within a few days that could last for a couple of months. Although, people with dental issues such as gum disease should refrain from using either product.
- Attend bi-annual dental checkups, though your dentist may require you to visit a couple of months a year, depending on the severity of your dental health condition. Part of the procedure is performing x-rays and deep cleaning teeth to remove tartar and plaque buildup, which are considered the major contributors to yellowing teeth.
There are also natural remedies for fixing stained teeth, which you can add to your oral routine. For instance, the compounds contained in orange, banana, and lemon peels (known as citric acid or d-limonene) help whiten teeth. Simply rub the peels on your teeth for two minutes. Rinse out and brush afterward. Another alternative is through at-home or professional whitening treatment, especially for tackling deeper stains. However, you have to practice caution because when used inappropriately or way above the recommended usage, you may end up wearing out your enamel and teeth, which typically results in cavities and sensitivity.